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One feared dead, highway closed after horror crash west of Brisbane

The two-vehicle crash happened about 10.30pm, with at least four people involved in the incident. Three had been removed from a vehicle by 11.30, with another person trapped. Ambulance crews were being assisted by bystanders, including two surgeons.The westbound lanes of the highway were closed at Lawes, with diversions in place via Glenore Grove. Queensland Police said eastbound diversions were in place via traffic control on the Warrego Highway. Motorists were urged to avoid the area. Download the Courier Mail app

One act sums up NRL’s love for Paul Green

Tears have flowed and stories have come out of the woodwork in tribute for the NRL great.Stream every game of every round of the 2022 NRL Telstra Premiership Season Live & Ad-Break Free During Play on Kayo. New to Kayo? Start your free trial now >The 49-year-old was found dead at his Brisbane home on Thursday morning, the day after his son’s ninth birthday. It has been confirmed he took his own life.The Courier Mail reported the footy legend’s wife Amanda found him unresponsive at their home after returning home from doing pilates at the gym.Some of the biggest names in the league have honoured Green with moving tributes, from Trent Robinson to Wayne Bennett and Johnathan Thurston.On Thursday it was former teammate Bryan Fletcher shared a story that summed up the selflessness of the NRL great.Green joined the Sydney Roosters in 2001 and enjoyed a stellar season. His second season however didn’t go according to plan.A knee injury sustained in the opening round saw him ruled out for the rest of the season as his teammates went on to claim premiership glory.Instead of sitting on the sidelines, Green ensured his impact was felt off the field amount the team, according to Fletcher.“If we had a drink, he was the first one to organise it – I think he took it upon himself as a role,” Fletcher said on Fox League.“I think he was thinking to himself: ‘I’m not going to be able to play this year and add anything to the team, so I’ll try and help off-field’.“It was a terrific year, that year. We were talking about it at the (recent 20-year) reunion how much fun we had. And I think a lot of that had to do with Greeny.”Fletcher however said his biggest off-field move came prior to the Grand Final when he approached Gatorade. Green is the player who helped bring the American tradition of showering victorious coaches in Gatorade Down Under.The selfless act from Green set his team up for their post-season getaway and sums up why his teammates loved him so much.“He went to Gatorade and said: ‘If we do this, what will you give us?’,” Fletcher said.“He organised $10,000 or something and we used it for a trip away. (It) was the first time it was done (in Australia).“He said: ‘If you do it to Sticky (Ricky Stuart), Gatorade is going to give us 10 grand.’ We did it and Gatorade used that for a billboard the following year.“We’d never seen that before, obviously it was big in American sport.”Green surprised his teammates for the 20-year premiership reunion after initially telling them he couldn’t make it due to a family holiday.“He was up on one of the islands up there,” Fletcher said.“He said, ‘Sorry boys, I can’t make it.’ But he ended up (coming) as a bit of a surprise. He said, ‘I couldn’t not come with all the banter on WhatsApp.’“He turned up and he had to go buy (clothes). He just had boardies. He went to Best & Less or something.“He had shirts that were too big for him, his pants were too tight. He (still) got on the dancefloor!”Green’s family issued a statement after his shock death, thanking those who had reached out in the wake of the news. “Today we are devastated,” Green’s family said in a statement.“We have lost a devoted husband, loving father and wonderful brother and son. We cannot find the words that would come close to expressing our feeling, however we would like to extend our thanks to those who have reached out to us with their love and support.“Paul was loved by so many and we know that this news will generate immense interest, however at this time we ask for privacy.“Our family is still trying to understand this tragedy and we request space and time as we come to terms with this loss. Thank you.”Mental health support

Fireys battle to save Logan warehouse from blaze

Crews were called to the Eastridge St business at Stapylton at 12.43pm.A spokesman confirmed that crews were “in action” at the scene and were battling a blaze that had taken hold at the rear of the building.“We do have some internal exposure as well,” he said.“There are some crews in breathing apparatus inside to try to stop the fire spreading.It is understood there was no one inside the factory at the time and Queensland Ambulance Service has confirmed there have been no reports of injuries.More to come.

Woman missing with young children for two weeks

Jessica Geroux, her two-year-old daughter and one-year-old son have not been sighted for two weeks, but were only formally reported as missing yesterday, having not contacted family. Ms Geroux, who is caucasian, 160cm tall with medium build, blonde hair and brown eyes, has connections with the Warwick, Nambour and northern New South Wales areas.They are believed to be travelling in a white 2004 Nissan Elgrand van.Investigators are appealing to Jessica or anyone with further information to contact police.Policelink 131 444 | Crime Stoppers 1800 333 000

Police probe after allegedly stolen vehicles found at fire-ravaged home

A family of nine escaped from the blaze which start just after 6.30am at the home on Kholo Rd, Kholo.On Wednesday afternoon, three vehicles – two motorbikes and a black BMW sedan – were seen being towed from the property. Police were also seen examining some 10-15 cars parked in the yard, as well as a shipping container.No charges have been laid.Peter Bond, Natalea Bornen and their seven children were all in the home when the blaze started.Mr Bond’s sister, Kaylee Bond, said that the family’s escape was nothing short of miraculous.“They woke up to one of the older children screaming about a fire and they all got out quickly, but then they realised that their two youngest children were still inside the house,” she said.“It was only when they got outside that they realised that they were still in there and so Peter ran back in. “He had to kick the back door down to get to his children because they couldn’t get out the front door.”The two children who were stuck in the home are aged just four and two years of age.“Peter went back in against orders to save his kids,” Ms Bond said.Eight people from the home were taken to Ipswich Hospital in stable conditions suffering smoke inhalation, including both parents and six of the children. Speaking with the Courier-Mail at Ipswich Hospital, Natalea Bornen said that the family had experienced problems with wiring in the past and now believed that a clothes dryer caused the fire.“There were problems like if we turned a light on a circuit would trip, and the dryer was the only thing running this morning,” she said.“I’d put a blanket in there earlier and then went back to bed, I can’t think of anything else it would have been.”She escaped the blaze dressed in just a pink dressing gown and pyjamas.Natalea’s mother-in-law, Merryl, said that her biggest concern was for one of her grandsons, four-year-old Kaiser.“He was screaming for his daddy to help him, and when I arrived he ran out and grabbed me and said “nanny, our house has burnt down.”Peter Bond’s mother, Merryl Harper, said that her son was distraught following the events of Wednesday morning.She said that the realisation “that if he had been any slower his children might not have escaped with their lives” was incredibly difficult to comprehend.“He’s very upset,” she said.“It’s confronting but they also lost absolutely everything they own, so it’s all a lot to process.”Kaylee Bond’s partner, Rebecca Powell, said some of the family had received minor burns.“It’s awful but I’m so glad that they woke up to whatever made them wake up before it was too late,” Ms Powell said. She said that the couple were notified by Kaylee and Peter’s mother shortly after the blaze broke out, but they didn’t know if the family had made it out alive for a harrowing few minutes.“We live at Redbank Plains and we only found out that they were OK once we were on the road,” Ms Powell said.A police spokeswoman said that the cause of the blaze will be investigated and that early information suggested that it was not deliberate.“They’ve lost everything they owned,” Ms Bond said.Ms Bond said that the family had also recently lost their grandmother, and her first thought upon hearing of the blaze was"I’ve just lost another family member, whether that was my brother or one of his children.”

Go Wandji taking Dougall beyond his wildest dreams

Never in his wildest dreams, did he think he would have a horse as good as Go Wandji, who he says is by far the best he has ever had. The crowd favourite is quickly becoming one of Queensland’s most talked about horses, but it doesn’t bother Dougall, 75, who said the feeling his horse gives him whenever he races is unlike anything else. Trained by his son Tom in Toowoomba, Dougall is a former bush trainer himself, but he explains it has been a long road. “The family has been in horses all our life but he is by far the best prospect that I have ever had, not that I have tried that hard to have a good horse,” he said.“I have always had a few bush horses around me but this fella is a bit special, so we hope he can go on with it, we will look after him as best we can – we hope he can keep going.“I am the son of a horse breeder, my father (Basil) started a horse stud around 1940, I just happened to grow up with them. I rode a horse to school – four mile there and four mile home – so I learned how to ride a horse.“When I got old enough, I got a bit interested in riding and training them, I got a trainers license pretty early, the head steward back then gave it to me earlier than he should have because I got it when I was 18.”While Dougall would go on to train his own winner at Eagle Farm in 1974, he said the Go Wandji experience has taken him and his family on a wild ride. “I would have been about eight-years-old when I conned dad into taking me to the races at Eagle Farm one day, I sat in the grandstand and thought how it would be nice to have a horse win here one day,” he said.“I had a pretty good filly and I gave her 14 starts, she had nine wins, but she was the first horse I ever took to Brisbane and she won on International Stakes day at Eagle Farm, a novice race, I am very proud of that to this day.“She was my first horse that I ever took to Brisbane and it was Eagle Farm. I have a special spot in my heart for the Stradbroke, I think it is the greatest race there is, so maybe next year we might have one in it, who knows.“We have got the grandkids going to the races now, I would love for my father to still be around and seeing this, he would be getting an even bigger kick out of it than I am.”It is fitting that Go Wandi, who is in the Benchmark 78 (1200m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday will wear Basil Dougall’s colours as he marches towards the Stradbroke next year. “Dad would be so proud of this, I have even got my two sisters going to the races again, my eldest sister hadn’t been to the races in 30 years and she’s back there now,” he said.

100 new cases a day: Full list of Qld’s Covid smashed aged care homes

The latest federal government aged care Covid-19 data revealed 219 Queensland aged care facilities, out of the state’s about 500, were battling active outbreaks of the virus as of July 22.This was a jump of 40 facilities in just seven days, with the cumulative Covid-19 caseload among residents so far this wave increasing to 3131 — up 735 in a week.The death toll rose by 8 to 56 in the week to July 22.According to the data, the largest active ongoing outbreak in Queensland’s aged care homes is at the Portofino Hamilton facility in Brisbane’s inner-north where 78 residents have contracted Covid-19 so far.There have been no deaths reported yet from the facility.Other facilities with large Covid-19 infections, over the course of its respective active outbreaks, are Varsity Views Care Facility (69 resident cases, 2 deaths), Bupa Tugun (61 resident cases, 2 deaths) and the Adventist Retirement Village in Victoria Point (60 resident cases, no deaths).NED-6726-Queensland-Aged-Care-July22The Aged & Community Care Providers Association (ACCPA), in light of the data, warned urgent action was needed to protect residents, staff and the broader community.Interim chief executive Paul Sadler said the winter Omicron wave was “ratcheting up the pressure on Australia’s aged care system” and warned “anywhere up to two-thirds” of facilities could be affected over coming weeks.“One of the great concerns about this latest Covid wave is the major impact on the availability of aged care staff, with thousands already infected.“Aged care services are telling us they have 10-15 per cent of their staff isolating or absent due to illness at the moment.“The next weeks of July and all of August are expected to be high-risk periods for aged care and Covid.”Nationally as of 22 July there were active Covid outbreaks in 1,013 aged care facilities (about 37 per cent of all homes), with more than 6,000 residents and 3,400 staff infected.In total 2,301 aged care residents have died from Covid in 2022, 114 residents nationally in the past week alone.

Qantas pilots call mayday after ‘low fuel event’

Although the Boeing 737 had 40 minutes worth of fuel on board after the five-and-a-half hour flight, after 10-minutes of holding the pilots were advised they would have to stay in the air for longer. It’s understood air traffic control advised the pilots that four aircraft were in front of them and if they wanted a priority landing they would need to call a fuel mayday, which they did. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau was investigating the “low fuel event” at Wave Rock, 336km from Perth. “During descent the crew declared an emergency due to the amount of fuel on board and proceeded to land at Perth,” said the ATSB investigation brief. “The aircraft landed with reserves intact.”Qantas chief pilot Dick Tobiano said based on the pre-flight conditions, the pilots had loaded fuel in accordance with Civil Aviation Safety Authority requirements and Qantas’ fuel policy. “On approach into Perth, air traffic control requested the aircraft hold for longer than our pilots had previously been advised, and that to be given priority to land our pilots needed to make a fuel mayday call,” said Mr Tobiano.“The aircraft landed with 40 minutes of fuel in the tank, which is well above the minimum requirements. Our pilots followed the correct procedures and there was no safety issue with the flight.”Commercial passenger flights are required to land with at least 30-minutes of fuel left in their tanks.The ATSB investigation was expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2023. Qantas was planning to discuss the event with Airservices Australia which manages air traffic control.

Inside Cam Smith’s off course hideaway

The 28-year-old, who wowed the world with his performance at the 150th British Open, has more to brag about than his victory over the home favourite Rory McIlroy. RELATED: WWII sea fort for sale for $87kTiger Woods’ $73m island mansion has 30m swimming pool and four-hole golf courseInside Greg Norman’s $60m ‘sporting paradise’Holly Valance selling jaw-dropping LA mansion for $126mThe Brisbane native owns a souped-up $2.4m (A$3.5m) home in the near Jacksonville in Florida, which he purchased in April 2020 — and it’s where he spends his downtime away from the course.Located more than 16,000km from his hometown, Smith is living large in Ponte Vedra Beach right now — after calling the Jacksonville area home for more than seven years. In late 2021, he opened his doors to PGA Memes for a tour of the property.Spanning across nearly 500 sqm, the house includes an open-plan living, kitchen and dining area. There’s a built-in bar area with seating — and even the kitchen has space for four bar-height stools along the lengthy island — perfect for entertaining guests.“I love it. There’s really good people around Jacksonville and I’m lucky to have good neighbours,” Smith said.“They put up with [my] s*** most of the time”The bar area can also benefit Smith more than guests who are looking to knock one back.“I’m on the Guinness train at the moment, but I really love a Bees Knees,” he says of the gin-based cocktail.Elsewhere, his home also has a professional-grade gym with weight racks that Smith mounted in the garage.MORE: Jonah Hill seeks $22m for Malibu homeDrake sells famous ‘YOLO Estate’ after buying Robbie Williams’ LA mansion‘How I Met Your Mother’ star Alyson Hannigan lists $26.5m homeAdele buys Sylvester Stallone’s massive ‘Rocky estate’ for $82mSmith also has a race simulator set up through a multi-screen computer that comes with a wheel, pedals and three monitors.Cam Smith home tour“This is my time waster. When I’m bored I come up here and I like to drive cars,” Smith said.For outdoor leisure, there’s an al fresco lounge area dotted with palm trees and equipped with a grilling space and a TV. Also outside is a pristine and manicured lawn that Smith uses to practice his putts — as well as space on the driveway to house his collection of cars, including a Nissan GT-R and an Audi A4 Wagon, the latter of which he says are popular in Australia, but are relatively new to American shores.Smith also has a pool standing at the feet of palm trees with views of the waterway, which is where the avid fisher keeps his two fishing yachts on a luxurious shaded dock.His pride of the water is a glistening white Front Runner 39 — on which Smith enjoys his downtime away from swinging clubs and practising putts.He goes fishing in a nearby creek a couple of times per week. That vessel has a slide-out cooler and holders for no fewer than 14 rods.“You can do anything off it,” he says. “You can fish off it, you can just have a good time on it, there’s a bar... I just love it.”MORE: Shaq downsizes after selling Florida mega-mansionFooty star’s huge home buy breaks NRL recordsSteve Smith flips mansion for more than $5m profit in two yearsCensus shows occupancy rates are on the riseThis article first appeared in The Post and was republished with permission.

Q&A: What Suncorp sale means for customers, shareholders and staff

Will there be any job losses?There will be no net job losses for at least three years. ANZ, which has never broken into the Queensland market, sees this as an opportunity to expand in the state which has a great growth future in terms of the Olympics and other investment opportunities.What about branch closures?The number of branches and ATMs will remain the same for the next three years at least. Customers will notice little difference in terms of services and in fact they will have the benefit of increased products provided by ANZ. There will be a branch sharing arrangement for up to seven years.What are the advantages for Queensland customers of Suncorp from the deal?By combining with a larger banking group, Suncorp Bank will be well positioned for the future. Customers will see benefits including access to a wider range of products and services, and career opportunities will be enhanced for our people. ANZ is committed to growing its presence in Queensland.Will the Suncorp name stay the same?Yes, ANZ will keep the name. ANZ are paying $1.3bn in goodwill alone which means they see the value of the brand which has a strong presence in Queensland. Suncorp Bank will continue to be led by chief Clive van Horen, who will report to ANZ chief executive Shayne ElliotWhat is Suncorp doing with the money?Most of it will be returned to shareholders through a special dividend of around $3.25 per share. That will be good for the Queensland economy as we have a lot of shareholders here.What does this mean for the rest of the Suncorp business?It will be business as usual and will allow us to concentrate on the insurance business with all the associated challenges of climate change. We will remain headquartered in Brisbane with all the same people.Why was the bank sold?The jury was always out on having a bank and insurance company together. If investors want to invest in a bank they will and the same for insurance. This deal will allow the bank to grow and also provide similar opportunities for our insurance operations.In considering the merits of the transaction, it was important to us that any potential acquirer demonstrated a commitment to Queensland and has long-term plans to grow at what you would expect me to parochially call the most important state in the Commonwealth.

Astonishing Aussie wins Open in wild finish

Smith began the day four shots off the lead but his eight-under-par fourth round allowed him to finish a shot clear of Cameron Young of the United States, with a frustrated McIlroy ending another stroke back in third after a 70.Watch LIVE coverage from The USPGA Tour with Fox Sports on Kayo. New to Kayo? Start your free trial now >The world number six would have known something special was needed on the final day for him to win the Claret Jug and he duly delivered with eight birdies — including five in a row from the 10th — and not a single dropped shot.McIlroy had been the favourite coming into the week and was two shots clear and in control at the turn in his final round, but then Smith set off on his birdie surge and the pendulum swung definitively his way.At the age of 28, Smith is the first Australian in almost three decades to win the British Open since Greg Norman claimed his second Claret Jug at Royal St George’s in 1993.The Brisbane native with the trademark mullet is also the third Australian to win the Open at the home of golf, after Peter Thomson in 1955 and Kel Nagle, who won the Open in 1960.“To win an Open Championship in itself is going to be a golfer’s highlight but to do it around St Andrews is unbelievable,” he said.“This place is so cool. I love the golf course and the town.” Smith delivered an all-Aussie reaction to having the Claret Jug in his possession, saying in a TV interview: “I’m definitely going to find out how many beers fit in this thing, that’s for sure.”Former NFL star turned podcaster Pat McAfee was a fan as he tweeted out the clip.Smith’s 20-under-par total of 268 is the lowest winning score in an Open at St Andrews, bettering the performance of Tiger Woods, who won on 19-under in 2000.In stark contrast to Smith, McIlroy was left to rue a series of missed birdie putts, while Viktor Hovland — who had shared the overnight lead on 16-under — faded badly to shoot a 74.That left the door open for one of the chasing pack and Smith took full advantage thanks to his incredible performance on the back nine.As well as the birdies he showed nerves of steel to save par at the 17th, the legendary Road Hole.Yet he needed his final birdie on 18 as his playing partner Young produced an eagle to finish with a 65 and end on 19-under.A play-off was avoided and Smith could celebrate his first major after he finished tied third at this year’s Masters, a tournament in which he also came second in 2020.Before this week his biggest win had come at the Players Championship in March.If Young, the 25-year-old New Yorker who had been the leader after the first round, can be satisfied with his showing this week, the same ultimately cannot be said for McIlroy.“Just disappointment I guess. I had a great opportunity today to add to that major tally and I didn’t quite get it done,” McIlroy, who is still stuck on four major titles, told NBC.“I didn’t feel like I did many things wrong, but the putter went cold on me throughout the round.” Now 33, few would have thought when he won the 2014 Open at Hoylake and followed it with victory in the PGA Championship a few weeks later that he would then embark on a major drought which will extend into a ninth year.“I got beaten by the better player this week. To shoot 64 to win an Open Championship at St Andrews is one hell of a showing, so hats off to Cam, he’s had an unbelievable week,” McIlroy added.England’s Tommy Fleetwood finished in a tie for fourth on 14 under par alongside Hovland, who had been hoping to become the first Norwegian winner of a men’s major.Brian Harman of the United States came tied sixth on 13-under with Dustin Johnson, who was the highest finisher among the 24 players from the breakaway Saudi-backed LIV series in St Andrews this week.The chief executive of the LIV series is Norman, the 67-year-old who was not invited to St Andrews by organisers the R&A as a result but who will surely be proud of his compatriot’s performance.

Second cruise with Covid outbreak arriving in Sydney

The Pacific Explorer, which has about 2800 crew and passengers on-board, was travelling to Brisbane before the Covid outbreak in which at least 100 people caught the bug. It comes less than a week after a different ship, the Coral Princess, arrived in Sydney while carrying another 118 Covid-positive people.Infected passengers on the Pacific Explorer will be transported to their homes if they live close to Sydney, but if they are based further away the ship’s company, P & O Cruises, will put them up in a hotel until their isolation period ends.NSW Health said there would be no supervision of the passengers sent to hotels as this was not hotel quarantine. Those who have tested positive on-board the Pacific Explorer have been confined to their rooms. They will receive a refund for days spent in isolation.“Every time you go into any of those marquees or theatre rooms or in to eat you have to have your mask on … I mean they’re cleaning all the time, sanitising,” passenger Sharon Zahabi told Channel 9.“We booked knowing that there’s a chance that we could catch Covid and we still came and we will still cruise again as well.”The ship’s last port of call was Moreton Island.

‘Handcuffed, kneed in back’: Brisbane driver sues State over alleged police assault

Patrick Vidgen of Calamvale claims he suffered anxiety, stress and humiliation as the result of the officers’ “high handed, unwarranted, manifestly excessive conduct’’ in a public place, according to court documents.In his Brisbane District Court claim Mr Vidgen says was charged with aggressive driving, but the charge was dropped about three weeks later.Mr Vidgen had been driving on Creek St, Brisbane, at 5am on March 12, when he saw a police car following him, the claim says.When he stopped at lights at the corner of Creek and Eagle streets, the police car activated its emergency lights and he turned into Eagle St, parked his car and turned off the engine.Mr Vidgen claims after he got out of his car, an officer told him to return to his vehicle and when he said he was happy to remain standing, the officer told him he was being aggressive.The claim says he had been standing next to his vehicle, holding his wallet in his hand to provide his identification.Mr Vidgen’s claim alleges two officers grabbed both his arms and placed them behind his back, he was told he was being detained for driving aggressively and then handcuffed.The claim alleges Mr Vidgen was told to get on the ground and when he moved to the side of the road to take a seat, “all of a sudden’’ the male officer used his knee to strike the back of his leg.After he fell to his knees, the officer told him to lie down, but as he moved to do so the male officer pushed him down, causing him to fall on his chest, the claim alleges.It is alleged the male officer then dug his knee into the middle of Mr Vidgen’s back and took his wallet from his hand.The claim says Mr Vidgen and his car were searched, but police did not find any prohibited or illicit objects or substances and he passed a roadside breath test.Two other male officers then arrived and Mr Vidgen was given a notice to appear in court on a charge of obstructing police, the claim says.About three weeks later, an officer allegedly told Mr Vidgen the charge had been dropped.The claim alleges it was assault and battery when Mr Vidgen was grabbed, placed in handcuffs, when an officer struck his leg, pushed him and applied pressure to his back with a knee.Mr Vidgen claims it was an unlawful arrest and he felt pain and discomfort when he was struck in the left leg and when the officer dug his knee into his back.He suffered loss of dignity, distress, fear and humiliation as a result of the officers’ alleged assault and infliction of unwarranted and excessive force, when he had not been aggressive towards the police, it is alleged.Mr Vidgen also is claiming damages, including exemplary damages, assault, battery, false imprisonment and trespass to goods.The State is yet to respond to the claim, filed on May 10. Download the Courier Mail app

‘They are put in a warm bath’: Water pet cremation explained

Water pet cremation business owner, 51, HighvaleAfter 30 years in banking, 20 as a manager, I had a very big career change early last year to start up my own water pet cremation business. It was a bit left field and it was a big decision to make. I also didn’t realise how much work goes into owning a small business and it’s probably the biggest challenge I’ve had in my life.The idea for the business started from my own experience. My husband Martin (52) and I have a little moodle (maltese cross poodle) dog called Morgo. I had a dog growing up but, as an adult, I’d never felt the kind of unconditional love you get from an animal and we just fell in love with him. And so we got another moodle, a girl named Tilly. In 2018, when she was only four or five months old, I came home after travelling for work and both her and Morgo came bounding across the grass, so excited to see my car. I started going up the driveway and then Morgo started barking and all of a sudden there was a thump and I had run over my little Tilly. She just died in my arms. I’d never felt that loss before and we were devastated.Then I had a dilemma – I didn’t want to bury her because if we ever left the house we’d have to leave her behind, and I didn’t want to put her in a fire. They were the only options we had at that time. We ended up burying her but I thought there must be a better way.For more than a year, I did a lot of research and found water cremation – also known as alkaline hydrolysis or aquamation – was very popular in America, Canada and South Africa. It’s environmentally friendly, pollution free and a lot more gentle on the pet. Instead of putting them in a fire, they are put in a warm bath of 95 per cent water and 5 per cent alkali which is what you find in the soil – it just accelerates the natural processes – and you are left with your pet’s full set of bones and their microchip. The bones are collected, dried and processed to a powder form, placed in an urn and returned to the owner so you still get back what you would know as ashes but it is not done with fire. This is also available in NSW and overseas for humans and I think it will only increase in popularity in the future.It was a big leap of faith to give up my bank job. My business (Paws to Heaven) was the first in Queensland and third in Australia to offer the service and every month the business exceeds the month before. We have now done just over 500 pets – dogs, cats, turtles, rats, guinea pigs, birds and fish.Martin and I got married in May. It’s the second marriage for both of us and we have a combined tribe of five kids – my sons Andrew, 26, and Jayden, 25, and Martin’s kids Taylah, 21, Lauren, 19, and Connor, 16.Now we have four moodles – Morgo and three girls named Koda, Zola and Nala. I was born in Charleville and moved to Toowoomba with my family (parents Jan, 77, and John, 76, and siblings Jenny, 54, David, 50, Vance, 48, Anthony, 45) when I was seven.I went to Harristown State High School, then worked for the Commonwealth Bank (for more than 20 years) and Bendigo Bank. I moved to Brisbane in 2014 so all my banking career was in Toowoomba and Brisbane. I was an agricultural relationship manager – I was always out on the road, travelling from Grafton to Bundaberg, out on farms, helping people buy properties, cattle and tractors.I’ve known Martin for more than 20 years through banking. He still works full time as a bank manager for the Bank of Queensland but he also helps me with the business at nights and on weekends.The business involves a lot of driving too and it’s 24/7 on call. I can get phone calls at 11pm or 3am and I’ll get up and drive to pick up the pet – anywhere from Caboolture to Ipswich and Ormeau.It is sad but I see it as a privilege to help people at one of the most devastating times in their lives. You have to have compassion and empathy, be able to talk to different people and read the room. I work harder now than I’ve ever worked in my life but I really love what I do.

Teen dies as car, truck collide

The 18-year-old Boyland man was the sole occupant of the car and died at the scene of the crash, which was reported at Mundoolun at 3.53pm.Queensland Police had earlier advised motorists to avoid the scene at the intersection of Beaudesert Beenleigh Rd and Mundoolun Connection Rd just inland of Mt Tamborine after the crash was first reported at 3.53pm.The driver of the truck was not injured and forensic crash unit have launched an investigation.